Denver, CO Yessss! We finally made it to the end of my hockey excursions last season! I don’t know what got into me, but this is the first time I have ever not been timely with my trip logs. Anyway, my hockey fun ended with a fluke return trip to Colorado for Game 6 of the Sharks/Avs series. One of my Christmas presents last season was a North American flight, which I never used during the regular season. So, when I determined that I would be in Korea for the 2010-11 season (in theory), I decided to cash in and see some postseason action in LA and San Jose – two rinks I hadn’t visited yet despite seeing three games in Anaheim. By complete coincidence my flight on the way home from LAX had a thirteen hour layover in Denver, and Game 6 just happened to be scheduled for that very night!
Earlier in the season I had finally gone to the Pepsi Center for the very first time. I’m not really sure why, but seeing the Colorado Avalanche play on home ice was always a dream of mine. There was something about Denver that really appealed to me. I don’t know if it was the mountains, or the snow, or maybe my affinity for South Park, but Colorado just seemed like a great home for hockey. I was so excited to be there, but my joy would not last long. My whole experience was ruined between a combination of emotionally unstable douche baggery, and the fact that the person sitting next to me was a legitimate creepy stalker-level obsessed fan responsible for ridiculous things like a Twitter account about a certain hockey player’s body part (which I’ve noticed is now finally getting some recognition from the player himself – gross and completely fucked up on more than one level). It was just an overwhelming atmosphere of idiocy that made my blood boil to the point that I actually left before the third period started. It was the only game that I have ever wanted to leave early – and that includes a Leafs game that I stuck out despite the fact that I was running a really high fever!
It was like the universe was in the mood for justice during the second half of the season; dealing out the just desserts to those responsible for ruining my night the first time, and giving me a second chance to really experience hockey in Denver. I couldn’t have been more thrilled at the opportunity, and as it would turn out, I had to summon all of my skills as the Psycho of all hockey fans to ensure that I made it to the Pepsi Center in time for puck drop.
I knew it was going to be tight, but fate was at least working in my favour. My flight from LA didn’t get into Denver until 7:15PM, but luckily the Avs decided to schedule an 8PM start time, which they didn’t bother announcing until the day of or something if I’m not mistaken. As soon as I set foot in the airport, I basically hit the ground running. I ran all the way to the taxi stand, jumped in the first cab I saw, and had the driver take me to a nearby hotel as fast as he could. When I finally got to the hotel, I asked the driver to wait, so he could drive me downtown. I basically checked in, but kept my bag at the front desk for safe keeping, as there was no time to go up to my room – especially considering that the woman at the front desk was taking her dear sweet time with everything.
By the time I made it back to the cab it was already 7:35PM! The driver wasn’t confident that we would make it to the rink by 8PM, to which I said, “I’m not paying you to talk,” and fired a pistol into the floor of the cab. OK, so I didn’t say that, but I was thinking it, I didn’t want his Negative Nancy attitude ruining my chances of making it to the gate on time, especially when I knew all too well that it was a far drive. Magically, we pulled up the Pepsi Center at 7:50PM, somehow getting me there a sweet 10 minutes before puck drop for the low, low cost of $80! However, the battle was not yet won – I still had to make it to my seat!
I had used this new form of ticketing – FLASH SEATS. The whole concept was to eliminate the use of printed tickets, and so the credit card you use to purchase your ticket is also used to scan you in at the gates. The dumb thing is that once you scan your credit card, the arena employee hands you a print out telling you where your seat is. The “non-ticket” is printed on what appears to be wax paper, which is probably less environmentally friendly than the game tickets used everywhere else. Therefore I consider this whole concept to be a major FAIL. Plus, it added a lot of stress to the game experience because I wasn’t sure that my credit card was going to scan properly once I got there.
Once inside I ran like a crazy person up to my seats in the upper bowl – I didn’t have much of a choice in seating, it was playoffs after all. Somehow I managed to be sitting in my seat with 5 minutes to spare. I honestly didn’t think it was possible that I would be hearing the American national anthem being sung that night, but I’m happy I made it.
It was a solid game, but a heartbreaker for Avs fans. The San Jose Sharks knocked Colorado out of Stanley Cup contention that night. What was really interesting about the game was that I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many fights in the stands as I did in that game – and I’ve spent lots of time in Philadelphia, so that’s saying a lot! What’s even more interesting was that it was Avs on Avs violence, meaning the aggression wasn’t directed towards the Sharks fans in attendance. These fights were pretty vicious, too. In the section next to me, two entire rows were escorted out for getting into a huge brawl over spilt beer. Outside, after the game, I saw a guy nearly get his head bashed into a rock waiting in line at the taxi stand! Tempers were obviously running on high that night.
Back at my hotel I misbehaved and didn’t sleep nearly as much as I should have that night. My hockey adventures were over, and as far as I was concerned I wasn’t going to be seeing NHL hockey for more than a year if not longer. A month into my life in Korea, I decided that I would start doing monthly updates on Psycho Lady Hockey about what I was doing overseas as it did NOT pertain to hockey. In my first installment of A Life Without Hockey, I discussed all the possible scenarios that would result in my return to Hockey Land prematurely:
The only way I’m seeing NHL hockey next season is if something happens between now and May that sends me back to Canada earlier than expected. Here is a list of possible things that would send me back to North America prematurely:
1. Serious Illness.
2. A bigger financial contract.
3. A full blown war with North Korea.
Here’s hoping? Or not.
I just love all my crazy blog predictions! And I know what you’re thinking! I’m shocked that the reason I came home wasn’t pregnancy, too! However, I think this is a good thing because I don’t think the world is ready for mini Psychos quite yet!
Roll the credits…
This song just reminds me of my life in Korea.